Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Environment

Nature Directives ‘Fit for Purpose’: a turning point for EU policy dismantling?

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The 28 EU Commissioners met today to decide the fate of the EU’s Nature Directives (the 1979 Birds Directive and 1992 Habitats Directive). Would these two directives, the cornerstone of EU biodiversity legislation, be deemed ‘fit for purpose’ or would they be revised and potentially weakened? After years of internal debates within the European Commission, […]

Major cities as climate leaders cannot solve the gridlocked traffic alone

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Air pollution and gridlocked traffic is part of the daily life for many people living or working in major cities around the world. Unsurprisingly, cities around the world have increasingly taken drastic measures to reduce both pollution and traffic. Many of these climate initiatives are miles ahead of national governments. The latest initiatives by four […]

Lessons from European Climate Monitoring Crucial for Paris Agreement Success

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As the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech draws to a close, it is becoming increasingly clear that credible monitoring and transparency procedures are urgently needed. Otherwise national pledges to address climate change in the spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement will not build sufficient global trust. The 2015 […]

Heathrow expansion in the shadow of Brexit

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After decades of debate on where – and whether – to expand airport capacity in south-eastern England, the UK government announced two days ago that it would favour building a third runway at Heathrow Airport. This option, highly criticised on environmental grounds (notably due to the air pollution caused by road transport to the airport) […]

Can European policies be dismantled?

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A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 42 per cent of Europeans were keen for some ‘powers’ to be returned to the national level, with only 19 per cent favouring further centralisation at EU level. The idea of ‘less Europe’ is not new: calls for it date back to the great subsidiarity debate of […]

What a difference a vote makes? Second guessing British-EU environmental policy interactions after Brexit.

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Since Britain voted to leave the EU are we any wiser what it all means? Uncertainty seems the safest prediction for now. Yet given that Britain has played an important role in EU environmental policy, we need to try to make some sense of it. Towards a more German style EU environmental policy? In the […]

Where are the frontiers of climate governance data?

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The Paris Agreement opens a whole new chapter in the history of climate change governance, which will also require a paradigm shift in research. What are the main challenges in bringing about this shift? A remarkable feature of the 2015 Paris Agreement is that it allows countries to draw on a vast array of governance […]

Is the EU as green as it used to be?

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With the referendum on UK EU membership fast approaching, both the Leave and Remain campaigns have put forward their views on the future of environmental policy in the UK and its relationship with the EU. This political debate raises a number of questions:  how green is the European Union; how effective or in some cases […]

It’s their country they want back, not yours

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‘We want our country back!’ is the clarion cry of many who want Britain to leave the European Union. But whose country do they want back exactly? Your country? My country? Or really, just their country? Before we leave the European Union and possibly change our country forever, we need to have an idea what […]

The European Hydrogen Road from Sheffield to Bochum

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A chain of hydrogen refuelling stations from Sheffield to Bochum could be the first stage in joining up the dots of hydrogen road transport across Europe. The first commercially operating hydrogen refuelling station in this chain is already in place at the Advanced Manufacturing Park near to Junction 33 of the M1 in South Yorkshire, […]

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